Plus Letters To the Editor
Among those who work with homeless families and individuals, there’s something called the “cycle of homelessness,” a chart of the factors which can throw someone’s life into a continuous spiral of setbacks.
Here in Santa Cruz, we have something that might be called a “cycle of homelessness awareness.” It circled around again in 2012 and 2013, as public safety climbed the list of top local issues, but homelessness has been one of the most talked about problems in Santa Cruz—on and off—since I first moved here in 1990, and no doubt long before that. Every few years, it rotates back into the public consciousness when a sleeping ban issue comes up, or a crime makes headlines. But the truth is, it never goes away.
Georgia Perry’s cover story looks at a new approach that is being discussed in Santa Cruz: a sanctuary camp. But rather than just lay out what activists here want to do, she actually traveled to Eugene, Ore., where the success of the sanctuary camp called Opportunity Village has made it a model that other cities might be wise to follow.
Perry’s investigation into how the Santa Cruz movement stacks up is eye-opening, to say the least. Her analysis of the differences between the two cities’ approaches is a must-read.
Also in this issue, local writer Liza Monroy, whose book The Marriage Act was featured on the cover of Santa Cruz Weekly earlier this year, profiles one of Santa Cruz’s most fascinating musical figures: the man known to fans of Afro-Brazilian music only as Papiba. As his band SambaDá celebrates its 15th anniversary, Monroy digs into his lesser-known—and perhaps even deeper—tie to the Santa Cruz community.
Steve Palopoli | Editor-in-Chief
Back to Issues
I am writing in response to the article appearing 5/1 entitled ‘Pushing the Limits’. I would like to reiterate that this is not just a local issue, but one that is being taken on by cities and states all over the country. Mandatory limits on campaign contributions and expenditures simplify elections, and make them about what they should be: issues and ideas. Level the playing field—this is the politics Santa Cruz can get behind. I will attend the June 10 City Council meeting in support of limits.
—Tyler Skinner-Rosenberg | Santa Cruz
Thanks for your recent story on local campaign spending. Few would deny that the American electoral process is overrun with money. Both the Democrats and Republicans are funded heavily by corporations, while the Supreme Court has opened the floodgates to even more influence by the super-wealthy with its Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions. Clearly, we can’t expect Washington politicians or politicized court justices to solve the problem. Luckily, there is a grassroots movement making change at the local level. Dozens of cities, including San Francisco, New York, and Boulder, Colo., have already enacted limits on campaign donations, and offer matching funds to candidates who accept an overall spending limit. Meanwhile, states like Arizona and Connecticut have enacted public campaign financing on the statewide level. On June 10, the City of Santa Cruz will have an opportunity to join this common-sense movement by adopting a proposal put forth by Council members Micah Posner and Don Lane. Let’s make sure Santa Cruz joins this people’s movement instead of endorsing the false equivalence of money to free speech.
—Steve Schnaar | Santa Cruz
I live in Australia and I have been following the street performers’ plight in Santa Cruz. While I have never been in Santa Cruz, I love the Great Morgani and the Abbott Family band. The colour and life your street performers bring to the world, let alone the people of Santa Cruz, is an international treasure that goes well beyond the borders of your street busking/performers laws. It is a world treasure that has no borders. How many YouTube clips and mobile phone photos are posted on social networks around the world? How many people from around the world come to Santa Cruz for your lively street culture? Surely they buy the goods and services that bring dollars to your town due to your street performers attracting them. Pass laws that protect the street performers and keep the precious street culture growing there alive. It is inspiring other performers like me around the world. How do you put a price on that?
—Dianne Porter | Canberra, Australia
Re: Best Spiritual Teacher
I am proud that Rene and Twin Lakes Church received this honor. I attend TLC. I want to point out that we feed, supply medical/ dental needs to people all over the world; feed orphans, and support and teach children coming out of the sex trade with counseling about how to make an income to support themselves, to sew and make jewelry, and trust me, they send us their goods and we buy them up! And we don’t have to dress up at church. At Munsky Hall, you can come in slippers, flip-flops, and shorts and t-shirt, anyway you normally dress. We call it little church next to the big church, all part of TLC. And it’s at 10:45 a.m. and you can eat doughnuts and drink coffee at all times during the service. Ya!
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The Written Word
Two local writers, Debbie Bulger and Sarah Rabkin, will read on Monday, May 12 at 7 p.m. at Center Stage, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz. Called, “The Art of The Essay,” the event will showcase how the genre can be used to convey experience. While Bulger’s work uses nuance to describe her childhood and unique view of the world, Rabkin uses rich detail to explore emotional and physical landscapes. Information about Bulger and Rabkin’s work can be found at www.lostballoonpress.com and www.sarahrabkin.com, respectively.
Mother’s Day Shopping
Rising International, a women’s economic empowerment nonprofit, will hold a pop-up global marketplace to provide shoppers with meaningful Mother’s Day gift options on Thursday, May 8, in the parking lot outside Alterra Solar, 207 McPherson St., Santa Cruz. The unique gifts available were made by mothers living in over 20 developing nations who are rising above poverty, war and human trafficking, and include jewelry, silk scarves, and hand-beaded dog collars. All proceeds will support brighter futures for impoverished women both locally and globally.
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”